Important new title: A Life in Canadian Aerospace 1942-1992

Richmond Dust Cover for blogGood news for all CANAV’s avid readers … we have just published an important new Canadian aviation title: A Life in Canadian Aerospace 1942-1992.

Here is a book to enrich any keen reader’s understanding of Canada’s legendary aviation industry from WWII to modern times.

R.D. “Dick” Richmond’s personal story, A Life in Canadian Aerospace 1942-1992  sets a new standard for the aeronautical autobiography. Dick tells his story from boyhood to joining the National Research Council early in WWII as a fresh aeronautical graduate. He works on such NRC R&D projects as re-engining a Fairey Battle with a Wright Cyclone. Moving to Fairchild, he has such challenging assignments as proving target-towing gear for an RCAF Bolingbroke, and producing (overnight) skis for rescuing some Ferry Command Hudsons stranded in Labrador.

The war over, Dick joins the design team for the Fairchild Husky bush plane, works on the Burnelli “flying wing” at Cartierville, then does landmark work on the prototype North Star. This is all new, fascinating history in which any CANAV fan will revel.

Other topics from the 1950s include Sabre III speed record flying in the California desert and the T-36, Canadair’s ill-starred twin-engine trainer developed with Beech for the USAF. Dick also works on the Argus and CL-41, before taking over development at Canadair of the Sparrow missile for the Avro Arrow.

With the demise of the Arrow, Dick joins Canadian Pratt & Whitney, where he is  involved with the PT6 and JT15D and their many uses, the Sea King for the RCN, Turbo Train, etc. In 1970 he joins Douglas Aircraft of Canada to head the DC-10 program. Next, he is at Spar on the seminal Canadarm program to the point of initial flight aboard “Columbia” in 1981. The latter part of Dick’s career has him back at Canadair working to salvage the Challenger. Such other programs as the CL-215 and Dick’s key role in getting the Canadair Regional Jet on the road to success also are included. In these chapters the book provides exclusive “insider’s” commentary about the controversial Canadair/DHC government takeover and how this ultimately was resolved by Bombardier.

A Life in Canadian Aerospace 1942-1992 takes you more intimately inside Canada’s aerospace industry than any book yet has done. It is beautifully-produced with many significant photos (you know how it goes with a CANAV title, right). Specs include: 190-page, 7×10-inch, hardcover,  dust jacket, detailed index. Canadian orders: $54.60 all-in (book $40.00, post $12.00, tax $2.60). USA and overseas CDN$57.00 all-in. If ordering, you can use PayPal (larry@canavbooks.com) or mail a cheque (any Canadian or US bank) to: CANAV Books, 51 Balsam Ave., Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4E 3B6.

Drop me a note if have any questions about this special new CANAV title. All the best as usual and I hope you’ve had a fine summer (or winter, if you’re Down Under) … Larry

Leslie Corness Collection Keeps on Inspiring

CORNESS 19 Book CoverSince CANAV published The Leslie Corness Propliner Collection in 2005, I continue to be impressed by the richness of the Corness photo collection. If you have the book, you know how aviation was a Corness family hobby. The three boys all were keen on everything to do with aviation, and their parents encouraged them. Their father taught them the basic of camera and dark room.

It would take more than one book to cover Leslie’s great collection. I thought it was time to put a few more of his wonderful shots out there for you to enjoy. And … while you’re doing so, notice some of the qualities of Leslie’s unpretentious style when he was behind the lens. For instance, he was far more of a “content” man than a “form” man. Instead of obsessively going for the perfect “set-up” photo, he tended to shoot just what he saw before him. Bang – shot taken, scene captured forever, warts and all.

These days there’s a lot of emphasis on “form”, on “set-up” potential, on controlling what’s there, rather than letting it simply be. With all the current Vivian Maier hoopla, you’d think she discovered everything about content vs form. Well, at least that’s what those promoting her stuff and making millions from it would have you believe. But those like Vivian who shoot creatively (vs trying to manage everything) have always been around. In my case, back in the Fifties I got tangled up with a crowd of young fellows shooting airplanes who mainly were “form” minded: set up your photo very deliberately, wait for the right sun, avoid a messy or busy background, wait for any people to clear out of the picture, don’t shoot on cloudy days, get that “pristine” shot. So that’s what we did. It took years to finally learn learn to appreciate the vibrancy and spontaneity of really meaningful aviation photography. Leslie Corness could have taught us that in one day of tutoring out at Edmonton Airport.

Today, there still is a preponderance of anal-type “form” picture takers. However, there are many more, also, who get the big picture. Leading the way in this part of the country are the likes of Gustavo Corujo. He can take a tightly scripted “form” oriented photo as well as the next shooter but, more typically, he’s getting lovely tight-in shots as well as the wide angle stuff, lots of people-and-airplanes scenes, etc. One thing for sure, he’s having a ton more fun than those who are slaves to the “set-up” shot.

Here are a few more of Leslie Corness’ magnificent photos taken (probably all) in Edmonton. In his days Edmonton already was known in the worldwide press as the “Canada’s Aviation Gateway to the North”. What an understatement that household phrase turned out to be. Anything flying north or south in the mid-continent generally had to flight plan through Edmonton. The Corness boys were waiting for whatever would show up. This selection dates to the late 1930s into the 1950s. Click on the pictures to see them full screen. See what you think.

  There usually was a Fairchild 71 or an 82 any day around Edmonton from the late 1920s into the early 1960s. This lovely period view by Leslie features CPA’s famous “82” CF-AXQ getting some daily servicing. Built in 1939 for Mackenzie Air Services of Edmonton, it migrated to CPA with that new company’s takeover in the early 1940s of a host of smaller northern operators. In 1946 “AXQ” was acquired by Waite Fisheries of Ile-a-la-Crosse, Saskatchewan. When the pilot got into deteriorating weather on January 28, 1947, his windscreen iced up so badly that he couldn’t see properly on landing, and crashed near home base. In our junior days of shooting at Malton in the 1950s we’d have been happy with the lighting here, but would likely have passed on even taking a shot “for the record” due to the gas drum, tie–down ropes, engine cover, open cockpit door , ladder in the background and, horror of horrors, that fellow standing there. How pitiful, eh, to be missing out on such fundamentals of a true aviation scene.

There usually was a Fairchild 71 or an 82 any day around Edmonton from the late 1920s into the early 1960s. This lovely period view by Leslie features CPA’s famous “82” CF-AXQ getting some daily servicing. Built in 1939 for Mackenzie Air Services of Edmonton, it migrated to CPA with that company’s takeover in the early 1940s of a host of smaller northern operators. In 1946 “AXQ” was acquired by Waite Fisheries of Ile-a-la-Crosse, Saskatchewan. When the pilot got into deteriorating weather on January 28, 1947, his windscreen iced up so badly that he couldn’t see properly on landing, and crashed near home base. In our junior days of shooting at Malton in the 1950s we’d have been happy with the lighting here, but would likely have passed on even taking a shot “for the record” due to the gas drum, tie–down ropes, engine cover, open cockpit door , ladder in the background and, horror of horrors, that fellow standing there. How pitiful, eh, to be missing out on such fundamentals of a true aviation scene.

Besides frequent and ever-exciting visitors, Edmonton was home to dozens of ordinary bushplanes that plied the Mackenzie River Valley down to the Arctic coast. The Curtiss Robin was a typical hard working northern workhorse. CF-AHH was first registered in Canada in 1929. It served various Alberta owners into 1946, when it migrated to Hudson, Ontario to fly with the famous Starratt Airways. “AHH” last was heard of with an Air Cadet squadron in Winnipeg in 1950. Leslie caught it in this ideal view, heading out from Edmonton on skis (tail draggers tend to look especially nice in a “rear ¾” view). This is a typical shot by Leslie, where the day was cloudy. The result was nice even lighting with no harsh/distracting shadows. One of the truly delightful sources of information about any such early US-certified aircraft is the magnificent 9-volume set “US Civil Aircraft Series” by the incomparable Joseph P. Juptner. Fans everywhere have been leaning on Juptner for “the good gen” since his series first appeared in 1966. Any serious fan needs these books.

Besides frequent and ever-exciting visitors, Edmonton was home to dozens of ordinary bushplanes that plied the Mackenzie River Valley down to the Arctic coast. The Curtiss Robin was a typical hard working northern workhorse. CF-AHH was first registered in Canada in 1929. It served various Alberta owners into 1946, when it migrated to Hudson, Ontario to fly with Starratt Airways. “AHH” last was heard of with an Air Cadet squadron in Winnipeg in 1950. Leslie caught it in this ideal view, heading out from Edmonton on skis (tail draggers tend to look especially nice in a “rear ¾” view). This is a typical shot by Leslie, where the day was cloudy. The result was nice even lighting with no harsh/distracting shadows. One of the truly delightful sources of information about any such early US-certified aircraft is the magnificent 9-volume set “US Civil Aircraft Series” by the inimitable Joseph P. Juptner. Fans everywhere have been leaning on Juptner for “the good gen” since his series first appeared in 1966. Any serious fan needs these books.

  Built in Delaware, the renowned Bellancas were at home in Edmonton for decades, especially when Commercial Airways had its famous fleet of big red bush planes. There also usually was some transient Bellanca for the Corness boys to photograph and, at war’s end, Northwest Industries had a decent go at manufacturing a revitalized Bellanca Skyrocket. Here, CH-400 Skyrocket NC-11661 (420-hp PW Wasp engine) sits at Edmonton awaiting departure likely on the Alaska route. This would be no earlier than 1940, the year CF-BQM (in the background) came to Canada. NC-11661 had been in the news in the Kingston, Jamaica “Gleaner” of January 18, 1939. The report that day identified it as being a luxurious plane “formerly of Palm Beach Air Service”, piloted by Capt. H. deB Tupper, being on wheels and having a yellow paint scheme. To my knowledge, to date no detailed history of NC-11661 has arisen from the dusty files. It would be nice to know a bit about it.

Built in Delaware, the renowned Bellancas were at home in Edmonton for decades, especially when Commercial Airways was running its famous fleet of big red bush planes. There also usually was some transient Bellanca for the Corness boys to photograph and, at war’s end, Northwest Industries had a decent go at manufacturing a revitalized Bellanca Skyrocket. Here, CH-400 Skyrocket NC-11661 (420-hp PW Wasp engine) sits at Edmonton awaiting departure likely on the Alaska route. This would be no earlier than 1940, the year CF-BQM (in the background) came to Canada. NC-11661 had been in the news in the Kingston, Jamaica “Gleaner” of January 18, 1939. The report that day identified it as being a luxurious plane “formerly of Palm Beach Air Service”, piloted by Capt. H. deB Tupper, being on wheels and having a yellow paint scheme. To my knowledge, to date no detailed history of NC-11661 has arisen from the dusty files. It would be nice to know a bit about it.

A plane sitting in the corner of a hangar at Edmonton was as inviting to Leslie as if it were outside in the sun. Bellanca CH-300 NC258M (300 hp Wright engine) also was passing through when he shot it circa 1940.

A plane sitting in the corner of a hangar at Edmonton was as inviting to Leslie as if it were outside in the sun. Bellanca CH-300 NC258M (300 hp Wright engine) also was passing through when he shot it circa 1940.

This unique, aluminum-hulled Keystone-Loening K-84 “Commuter” turned up one day in Edmonton. A luxurious amphibian using a 300-hp Wright engine, the Commuter (first flight 1929) was popular with sport aviators and corporations. NC374V today resides with the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum in Anchorage.

This unique, aluminum-hulled Keystone-Loening K-84 “Commuter” turned up one day in Edmonton. A luxurious amphibian using a 300-hp Wright engine, the Commuter (first flight 1929) was popular with sport aviators and corporations. NC374V today resides with the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum in Anchorage.

 One of the most modern aircraft of the early 1930s was the speedy, 8-passenger Northrop Delta, first flown in 1933. Accidents plagued the Delta, however, so it did not realize its potential. Several were manufactured in Canada by Canadian Vickers for the RCAF (the Delta was the RCAF’s first all-metal aircraft). Edmonton occasionally was a refuelling spot for a long-range Northrop. Shown is NC13777. Delta No.28, it was powered by a 710-hp Wright. This example is believed be in storage somewhere in Kansas City, Missouri.

One of the most modern aircraft of the early 1930s was the speedy, 8-passenger Northrop Delta, first flown in 1933. Accidents plagued the Delta, however, so it did not realize its potential. Several were manufactured in Canada by Canadian Vickers for the RCAF (the Delta was the RCAF’s first all-metal aircraft). Edmonton occasionally was a refuelling spot for a long-range Northrop. Shown is NC13777. Delta No.28, it was powered by a 710-hp Wright. This example is believed be in storage somewhere around Kansas City, Missouri.

In this case Leslie was focusing on Northrop Gamma 2D NC2111. Juptner observes about the Gamma: “More than anything else the Northrop Gamma 2D was a dramatic exercise in highly advanced all-metal construction, in refined aerodynamics, experiments in long distance cargo-hauling by air and research into over-weather flying.” Some 61 Gammas were turned out in the 1930s, 49 for export to the Chinese military. In the US they earned headlines in air racing (e.g. Los Angeles to New York City non-stop in 13 hours 26 minutes), long distance flight, and one supported the Lincoln Ellsworth Antarctic expedition of 1932. The latter Gamma resides in the Smithsonian collection. NC2111 became famous when Russell Thaw flew it in the 1935 Bendix Trophy race from Los Angeles to Cleveland. We can’t say what NC2111 was doing in Edmonton, but there well could be a report of it somewhere in the Edmonton Journal in the late 1930s.

In this case Leslie was focusing on Northrop Gamma 2H NC2111. Juptner observes: “More than anything else the Northrop Gamma 2D was a dramatic exercise in highly advanced all-metal construction, in refined aerodynamics, experiments in long distance cargo-hauling by air, and research into over-weather flying.” Some 61 Gammas were turned out in the 1930s, 49 for export to the Chinese military. In the US they earned headlines in air racing (e.g. Los Angeles to New York City non-stop in 13 hours 26 minutes), long distance flight, and one supported the Lincoln Ellsworth Antarctic expedition of 1932. The latter Gamma resides in the Smithsonian collection. NC2111 became famous when Russell Thaw flew it in the 1935 Bendix Trophy race from Los Angeles to Cleveland. We can’t say what NC2111 was doing in Edmonton, but there well could be a report of it somewhere in the Edmonton Journal in the late 1930s.

This magnificent Ford Trimotor NC8419 came though Edmonton one day, perhaps on delivery from “The Lower 48” to Alaska’s Star Airlines. The Alaska State Archives has a photo of it on skis with Star in 1937, so it might have shown up in Edmonton any time up to 1942, when Star became Alaska Star Airlines. Leslie shot it happily as he saw it -- step ladder and all. Note that the light is long, so it’s an early or a late-in-the-day shot (the fuss budgets preferred mid-day lighting). NC8419 was Ford 5-AT-C No.58 built in 1929 for Northwest Airlines of Minneapolis. Research points to a strange story about it. The original plane crashed in 1959 -- years after Leslie saw it. By then it was doing forestry work and went down during fire operations. The data plate was salvaged and used to legitimize the restoration of today’s N8419, which is a combination of parts from several Ford wrecks. “New” N8419 today flies with the Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum in Michigan.

This magnificent Ford Trimotor NC8419 came though Edmonton one day, perhaps on delivery from “The Lower 48” to Alaska’s Star Airlines. The Alaska State Archives has a photo of it on skis with Star in 1937. It might have shown up in Edmonton any time up to 1942, when Star became Alaska Star Airlines. Leslie shot it happily as he saw it — step ladder and all. Note that the light is long, so it’s an early or a late-in-the-day shot (the fuss budgets preferred mid-day lighting). NC8419 was Ford 5-AT-C No.58 built in 1929 for Northwest Airlines of Minneapolis. Research points to a strange story about it. The original plane crashed in 1959 — years after Leslie saw it. By then it was doing forestry work and went down during fire operations. The data plate was salvaged and used to legitimize the restoration of today’s N8419, which is a combination of parts from several Ford wrecks. “New” N8419 today flies with the Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum in Michigan.

 Another incredible flying machine passing through Edmonton to Leslie’s delight was this 10-passenger Stinson SM-6000-B powered by three 215-hp Lycomings. Resplendent in Wien Alaska Airlines markings, it also likely was on a delivery flight in the late 1930s. Too bad, but there was no colour film commonly available at this time. What were the Stinson’s colours? Maybe that brilliant orange we saw on Wien’s later Norsemans?

Another incredible flying machine passing through Edmonton to Leslie’s delight was this 10-passenger Stinson SM-6000-B powered by three 215-hp Lycomings. Resplendent in Wien Alaska Airlines markings, it also likely was on a delivery flight in the late 1930s. Too bad, but there was no colour film commonly available at this time. What were the Stinson’s colours? Maybe that brilliant orange we saw on Wien’s later Norsemans?

 Ditto for Stinson “A” NC-15109 shown in Pollack Airlines colours at Edmonton – another sight to get the local “hangar rats” fired up. Flown in 1934, this type was the last and the fastest Stinson trimotor. Powered by 260-hp Lycomings and with retractable undercarriage, it cruised at 160 mph, so competed reasonably well with the Boeing 247 and Douglas DC-2. As you can see, this is more of a set-up shot – airplane in the clear, ideal side lighting, registration and company markings visible, etc.

Ditto for Stinson “A” NC-15109 shown in Pollack Airlines colours at Edmonton – another sight to get the local “hangar rats” fired up. Flown in 1934, this type was the last and the fastest Stinson trimotor. Powered by 260-hp Lycomings and with retractable undercarriage, it cruised at 160 mph, so competed reasonably well with the Boeing 247 and Douglas DC-2. As you can see, this is more of a set-up shot – airplane in the clear, ideal side lighting, registration and company markings visible, etc.

A newly built Northwest Industries Bellanca 31-55 Senior Skyrocket (600 hp PW R-1340) at Edmonton circa 1947. Prototype CF-DCH had flown on February 28, 1946, but only 13 examples were manufactured. The “31-55” had little hope in the market of competing again cheap war surplus Norsemans, then the Beaver came along to seal its fate. This is a really typical Corness photo, capturing as it does some interesting features, especially the nifty Shell fuel truck.

A newly built Northwest Industries Bellanca 31-55 Senior Skyrocket (600 hp PW R-1340) at Edmonton circa 1947. Prototype CF-DCH had flown on February 28, 1946, but only 13 examples were manufactured. The “31-55” had little hope of competing against cheap war surplus Norsemans, then the Beaver came along to seal its fate. This is a really typical Corness photo, capturing as it does some interesting features, especially the nifty Shell fuel truck.

In all my research and sleuthing I never before have seen a photo of the NWI Skyrocket “production line”. One day Leslie poked his nose in the NWI hangar and grabbed to very telling shot of three Skyrockets under way. Nearest is CF-DCE.

In all my research and sleuthing I never before have seen a photo of the NWI Skyrocket “production line”. One day Leslie poked his nose in the NWI hangar and grabbed this very telling shot of three Skyrockets under way. Nearest is CF-DCE.

Another new type for Leslie’s list in the late 1940s was this Fairchild Husky. Like the NWI Skyrocket, the Husky was doomed by cheap Norsemans and the flashy new Beaver. Air Transport in Canada provides a reasonable history of the Husky or Skyrocket in Canada.

Another new type for Leslie’s list in the late 1940s was this Fairchild Husky. Like the NWI Skyrocket, the Husky was doomed by cheap Norsemans and the flashy new Beaver. Air Transport in Canada provides a reasonable history of the Husky or Skyrocket in Canada, but also see Canadian Aircraft since 1909 by the great K.M. “Ken” Molson

In 1957-58 NWI decided to represent the Edgar Percival company in the UK with its E.P.9 “Prospector” utility plane. Specially registered in Canada, it made sales tours and did many a demo/promo flight, but the E.P.9 had less of a prayer of succeeding than had the Husky or Skyrocket. No Canadian operators was likely to invest in such a type, when the locally made and well supported Beaver, Otter and Norseman. CF-NWI has been preserved by the Reynolds Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin, Alberta.

In 1957-58 NWI decided to represent the Edgar Percival company of the UK with its E.P.9 “Prospector” utility plane. Specially registered in Canada, it made sales tours and  many a demo/promo flight, but the E.P.9 didn’t have a prayer of succeeding — less than the Husky or Skyrocket. No Canadian operator was likely to invest in such a type, when  locally made and well supported Beaver, Otter and Norseman were commanding the market. CF-NWI is  preserved in the Reynolds Alberta Museum at Wetaskiwin, Alberta.

Many interesting light twins were always coming and going at Edmonton. Typical was the Barkley-Grow, a handful of which came to Canada in 1940, then had long, useful careers. Leslie took many lovely Barkley-Grow photos in b/w and colour at Edmonton, but this view he shot at Vancouver, just as CF-BQM was about to be launched. CF-BQM served many operators beginning with Mackenzie Air Service. It ended as a fish hauler with Pete Lazarenko’s Winnipeg-based Northland Airlines, flying at least into 1964. It resides today with the Aero Space Museum of Calgary.

Many interesting light twins were always coming and going at Edmonton. Typical was the Barkley-Grow, a handful of which came to Canada in 1940, then had long, useful careers. Leslie took many lovely Barkley-Grow photos in b/w and colour at Edmonton, but this view he shot at Vancouver, just as CF-BQM was about to be launched.Look at all the nifty content in this great action photo.  CF-BQM served many operators beginning with Mackenzie Air Service. It ended as a fish hauler with Pete Lazarenko’s Winnipeg-based Northland Airlines, flying at least into 1964. It resides today with the Aero Space Museum of Calgary.

This Boeing 247 served the Alberta oil industry for decades, until finallydonated to Canada’s national aeronautical collection in Ottawa. Based in Calgary with California Standard Oil (later with Chevron Oil), Leslie often saw it in Edmonton. Alberta oil companies also operated the Lockheed 12, Lockheed 18 and DC-3 in the 1950s.

This Boeing 247 served the Alberta oil industry for decades, until finally donated to Canada’s national aeronautical collection in Ottawa. Based in Calgary with California Standard Oil (later Chevron Oil), Leslie often saw it in Edmonton. Alberta oil companies also operated the Lockheed 12, Lockheed 18 and DC-3 in the 1950s-60s.

CORNESS 17 T-50 CF-BXX 8-2014

The Cessna T-50 Crane was as common around Edmonton in the early postwar years as the Anson. These fine little twins found a hundred and one uses. Typical was Crane CF-BXX, which Leslie shot from a nice vantage point. It must have been beside a hangar from which he could set up his shot from the roof or a window. “BXX” had been RCAF 1670 from 1941-46. Then, the Hoover Machine Co. of Edmonton bought it from War Assets Disposal Corp., probably for just a few hundred dollars. With a year, however, “BXX” was sold to a buyer in Montana. In the second Crane scene, Leslie captured an Associated Airlines’ plane in the midst of some serious maintenance. Such raw scenes always interested him – talk about a “non-set-up” shot, eh. Hope you have enjoyed these fantastic Corness photos. I’ll try to add a few more in a week or two. Cheers … Larry

The Cessna T-50 Crane was as common around Edmonton in the early postwar years as the Anson. These fine little twins found a hundred and one uses. Typical was Crane CF-BXX, which Leslie shot from a nice vantage point. It must have been beside a hangar from which he could frame his shot from a roof or window. “BXX” had been RCAF 1670 from 1941-46. Then, the Hoover Machine Co. of Edmonton bought it from War Assets Disposal Corp., probably for just a few hundred dollars. Within a year, however, “BXX” was sold to a buyer in Montana. In the second Crane scene, Leslie captured an Associated Airlines’ plane in the midst of some serious maintenance. Such raw scenes always interested him – talk about a “non-set-up” shot, eh. Hope you have enjoyed these fantastic Corness photos. I’ll try to add a few more in a week or two. Cheers … Larry

In case you still don’t have your copy of The Leslie Corness Propliner Collection, you can order today at 1/2 price — $20.00 vs $40.00. All in for Canada (post and tax) $33.60, USA & overseas $36.00. Let me know if you get interested. Drop me an email at larry@canavbooks.com. The Wilf White Propliner Collection is also at this same great price of $20.00. Both books all in for Canada $57.75, USA & overseas $82.00 … Larry

Summer Special: Air Transport in Canada

ATC-FrontAt CANAV Books, we like to beat the heat with a good book on the porch – and maybe a beer in hand. To help your summer reading along, we’re running a special promotion: if you don’t yet have your set of Air Transport in Canada, here’s the chance to fill that gap in your aviation library. Usually $155, “ATC” presently is $60 off, so get your set at $95 (add $15.00 shipping & 5% tax in Canada, for US and overseas please send me an email to get your shipping cost) This will be the largest title in your aviation library –- 9 x 12-inches, 1040 pages, 5 kg, hardcover, 3000+ photos. Spread throughout is the grandest coverage ever of this topic especially of bush flying (tons of Norseman coverage), the airlines and the RCAF. Cheque or PayPal – we’re easy breezy :)

Sixty Years … Final Copies Now on Special

Attention … especially Serving Members of the new RCAF. Here’s a very serious offer on the 90th anniversary of the RCAF! Sixty Years: The RCAF and CF Air Command 1924-1984 is still available after 30 years. This grand 480-page, large-format, hardcover that’s never a second out of date tells the story of the RCAF in its glorious 60th year. Beginning with some solid background from WWI and   1920s, this fabulous tome ends just as the CF-18 and Aurora are entering service. Well, guess what… those two amazing airplanes are still hard at work!

If you don’t yet have your copy of this fantastic “all in one” RCAF sourcebook, jump in now and get one of the final 300 from the grand total of 23,000 copies done in 5 printings. Serving Members owe this one to themselves … you’ll never again have to wonder about any of the fundamental history of your proud organization.  Sixty Years is where every reader starts for basic RCAF history: early days, interwar, WWII, postwar to modern. 800+ photos, 95 exclusive colour profiles. Notes Aircraft Illustrated: “one of those all-too rare aviation books … a delight to read and a joy to possess and to treasure… superbly produced and printed and is likely to become a classic collectors’ item … a masterpiece.” Well, what can a publisher say!

In its infancy, Sixty Years had one special, thundering moment, when I was interviewed on “Morningside”  by Peter Gzowski back in ’84. Just to get on Peter’s show was a major coup, but this was one topic Peter could not resist (today there is zero interest at the CBC in any such publication). Peter began his 7-minute chitchat by holding high his copy of Sixty Years, then dropping it on the table — the aviation book “thud” heard around the world! Peter wanted his listeners to appreciate this book not just for its content, but also for its 5-lb heft. He then reminisced about boyhood days scanning the wartime skies filled with yellow RCAF training planes. That was quite the day for tiny CANAV Books and sure helped get the ball rolling for me. Years later people were bringing up the topic as if it were yesterday. One day the great Bob Fowler excitedly told me how he had “recently” heard me on the CBC while he was on a Dash 7 test flight over Lake Ontario. I had to remind Bob how that had been 20 years prior! Here again are the basic book specs! 480 pages, large format, hardcover, app’x, biblio, chron, index. $60.00 sticker price. Resist no longer … just $30.00 today, autographed copy. Add $12.00 for Canada Post + 5% tax. USA and overseas, contact CANAV for your shipping rate.

PS … more good word about CANAV’s recent Noorduyn Norseman books. In its April 2014 issue, AIRWAYS: A Global Review of Commercial Flight (airwaysmag.com) proclaims how Norseman Volume 2, “Describes the bushplane’s career since 1950 in the same painstaking detail as Vol.1. As well as coast-to-coast Canadian coverage, the Norseman in the USA and Americas, Australia and Europe is included, plus a lavish section on today’s survivors: workhorses, personal transports and museum displays.” Scroll back a bit for more Norseman revelations. Be sure to have these limited-edition collectables in your aviation library!

Good reading to one and all, eh … Larry

Publisher Milberry in the Toronto Sun!

Air Canada's new Boeing 787 Dreamliner, landing at Toronto Pearson International

Air Canada’s new Boeing 787 Dreamliner, landing at Toronto Pearson International

From Mike Filey’s Saturday column in the Toronto Sun:

Screen Shot 2014-07-20 at 12.37.03 PM

Norsemans Here & There …

Anchorage3

 In the winter scene outside at Anchorage’s Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum is Interior Airways Norseman N725E. Originally US Army UC-64A 43-35433, in 1945 it joined the US Fish and Wildlife Service, moved to Alaska in 1951 for Northern Consolidated Airlines, thence to Interior in 1955. Forty years later it was donated to the museum by Alaska’s great aviation history aficionado, Jim McGoffin.

By now I hope that you’re reveling in your set of CANAV Noorduyn Norseman books. These already have been recognized as two of the finest aviation books so far in the 2000s. As usual, new Norseman material continues to roll in and the Norseman Festival spins up next week in Red Lake in Northwestern Ontario. Enjoy these five nifty Norseman photos submitted recently by CANAV reader Antti Hyvärinen, a Finnair A320 pilot. As usual, good reading to you all … Larry

Anchorage4

The ramshackle cockpit of Norseman N725E. Some day, however, this old Norseman will shine like new – whenever museum priorities allow.

Stockholm3

Stockholm4Arlanda Airport

This project Norseman is in the Swedish aviation museum at Arlanda airport, Stockholm. The cockpit certainly is in more respectable condition than N725E’s. If you scroll back you can see this Norseman as RCAF 3538. Later it was RNoAF “R-AY”.

Victoria1

Antti’s close-up of the Norseman in RCAF colours at the British Columbia Aviation Museum near Victoria. The museum uses its Norseman on its logo. The 3 museum aircraft shown here all are covered in Vol.2 of our Norseman book.

New CF-GUE Coverage from Gordon Olafson

ImageIn April 2014 former Norseman pilot Gordon Olafson sent us these great 1970-71 views of Gimli Air/Northway Norseman CF-GUE (GUE’s basic story is told in Noorduyn Norseman Vol.2). First, the rugged-looking Norseman at Riverton, Manitoba with a 12-foot aluminum boat strapped to each side for a trip to the outpost camp at Sasaginnigak Lake.

Two winter scenes of CF-GUE on different skis. First on Lake Winnipeg at Arnes. That’s Gordon standing by the plane. He’s warming up his R-1340 before a trip north. The Norseman is on standard air bag pedestals. Gordon explains: “You can see how we drove the skis up onto green poplar poles (not too sticky), so they wouldn't freeze down to the ice.” Then, CF-GUE at Charron Lake with just the oleos for suspension. This type of skis made for a pretty stiff run on take-off or landing. Jake Thorsteinson (left) is ready with his helper to start cutting ice to be put up in a shed insulated with bales of hay. The tourist camp there then would have ice for the coming season

CF-GUE -3 - Gordon Olafson img068_LR2 Above, two winter scenes of CF-GUE on different skis. First on Lake Winnipeg at Arnes. That’s Gordon standing by the plane. He’s warming up his R-1340 before a trip north. The Norseman is on standard air bag pedestals. Gordon explains: “You can see how we drove the skis up onto green poplar poles (not too sticky), so they wouldn’t freeze down to the ice.” Then, CF-GUE at Charron Lake with just the oleos for suspension. This type of skis made for a pretty stiff run on take-off or landing. Jake Thorsteinson (left) is ready with his helper to start cutting ice to be put up in a shed insulated with bales of hay. The tourist camp there then would have ice for the coming season

CF-GUE -4- Gordon Olsfson 1982014_LRA typical Norseman summer scene with some of the fellows not exactly looking overworked. On the left is Gordon’s cousin, Danny; bush pilot Jim Johnson, whose father, Geiri, founded Gimli Air; Howard Olafson bush pilot (no relation); and Gordon himself.

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Another excellent winter scene with GUE on straight skis.

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Gordon and GUE at the dock on a fine day for a Norseman trip.

Norseman restoration projects: Pics from Finland

Norseman_A_Hyvarinen-1There are numerous Norseman “project” planes around the world. Some actively are being restored, as is Pablo Columbo’s LV-FFH in Argentina, or the Aviodrome’s N4474 in Holland. Others projects are more cautiously underway. Sometimes work moves ahead, sometimes planes are dormant for years. Examples would be CF-BHU waiting in the corner of a hangar in Steinbach, Manitoba, or N725E in Anchorage. Yet other Norsemans seem to be hopeless wrecks, as are CF-OBD at Selkirk, Manitoba, or 4X-ARS in Israel. But one never knows, right.

One of the long term project Norsemans is OH-NOA, the only known Finnish example. Delivered from Cartierville to the USAAF in September 1944 as 44-70381, it was shipped from New York in October, then served the US military  8th Air Force for a year, until a take-off accident in Germany. In November 1946 it was sold to a Swiss operator, becoming HB-UIK. In May 1951 it went  to Voukralento Oy of Finland, becoming OH-NOA. He and others operated it until 1969, when it was de-registered and stored. Today it is a project with the Finnish Air Force Museum, but no one is in a rush to move it up into the restoration shop.

On April 16, 2014 Finnair A320 pilot Antti Hyvärinen wrote to me: “I finally found those pics of Finnish Norseman OH-NOA! She’s in a bad place behind all the junk, so getting photos is almost hopeless. Hope you find these interesting anyway! She’s stored in the Tikkakoski aviation museum in Jyvaskylä.” Thanks, Antti — everyone loves a set of photos like this!

Norseman_A_Hyvarinen-3Norseman_A_Hyvarinen-4You can see that years ago the plane was painted yellow and black, then a dark blue, then a light blue. This is certainly a restorable Norseman — the cockpit and cabin are in quite decent shape, the fuselage frame looks good, but every museum has its priorities. OH-NOA likely will gather dust for a few more years, but it’s in safe storage. Many other Norsemans are in similar condition, including CF-PAA in Langely, BC.

Thank you for this great new blog content, Antti!